When it comes to marketing your business there are so many buzzwords that it can be hard to figure out what is important and more importantly why is it important. Branding and marketing are two terms that are very commonly (but mistakenly) thrown in the same basket. Marketing and branding are two very different concepts – you can’t have one without other, but you can’t deal with them the same way and you most definitely cannot ignore either one.

When you are starting your business, it is important to clearly define your branding and your marketing strategy – if you don’t it will be a struggle to grow your business.

What is marketing?

Wikipedia define marketing as follows “Marketing is the process of exploring, creating, and delivering value to meet the needs of a target market.”

Essentially marketing is everything you do get your specific audience to buy your products or services. Marketing changes and evolves constantly – audiences evolve and change, channels of communication change, your business changes and your marketing efforts need to keep up with that.

Marketing, in general, can include.

Each of these methods of marketing will be used for a specific reason to reach a specific audience. A successful marketing strategy will consider and make use of the right channels at the right time, which means you may use all of these or only one or two at a time. Basically, marketing never remains constant, it is constantly changing to meet the needs of the audience.

What is branding?

The Entrepreneur defines branding as “The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.”

Sounds simple enough right?

Not spending enough time developing a brand is one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs can make. Branding is more than just a logo; it is what will separate you from your competitors and make people remember your brand over other brands.

Before you decide on a company name, or a logo answer the following set of questions.

Why did you start your business?

What is the mission statement of your business?

What are your core principles and values?

Why this product or service?

What make you different?

What is your style?

How do you communicate?

When someone hears your business name, what do you want them to think of?

When you have a clear understanding of your brand, it will drive your marketing efforts and will determining how your audience experiences your brand.

The differences between marketing and branding

Branding and marketing work hand in hand but there are some key differences between the two that need to be understood when you are building both your branding and your marketing strategy.

Marketing grabs attention but branding keeps it.

In order for your business to stand out from the others in the industry, you need to make a noise and that is where marketing comes in. But once you have the attention of your audience you need to make sure you keep them – enter branding.

People are more likely to buy from a brand they are familiar with, one that they trust and one that makes them feel good.

89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values.

Your marketing and branding strategies need to be aligned – your branding defines your marketing message.

Marketing is all about sales, but branding is about loyalty.

Your marketing team are largely driven by increasing revenue, driving leads and growth but your brand managers are focused on building brand loyalty.

Over 70% of brand managers consider building an audience more important than converting sales.

Without a loyal audience (or even an audience at all) you won’t have sales, right? Branding plays the long game and is focused on building up a loyal audience who will not only buy the products or service but will also come back and tell their friends and family.

Branding may not drive sales right now, but it will determine the sustainability of the brand in the long term which is equally as important as marketing to drive immediate sales.

Which comes first? Marketing or branding?

If you don’t have a message, how are you going to market? This is another common mistake entrepreneurs make; they start driving sales without a clear idea of what their business actually stands for.

To answer the question – branding comes first. Marketing has to have something to market!

What are the colours of your logo?

What does your packaging look like?

What is the company’s values?

What is your WHY?

Before you even create your website, or print a flyer or have a uniform made, you need to understand what your brand is, what it stands for and what the message is.

Once you have that, your marketing team are able to create a marketing strategy that speaks to the right audience, in the right tone with the right message.

Marketing evolves but your branding is forever

Think Nike and Coca-Cola, their branding has remained on point for decades. They have each made subtle changes to their logos but in essence their core branding has remained constant.

94% of the world’s population recognizes the Coca-Cola logo.

Their marketing efforts, however, are constantly evolving and changing. They have short, once off campaigns combined with longer term strategies but they change as their audience changes.

Branding does, however, also need to change and evolve as times changes but ultimately the core values and principles will always remain the same.

In short, branding and marketing are essential components of your business. They work together to help your business grow, drive leads and build a loyal community.

If you need help with your company’s branding, get in touch with us today and let us help your business prosper.